Thursday, May 17, 2007

Post-GOP Debate Comments

I'm sure everyone sat rapt before the boob tube, enthralled by the GOP debate in South Carolina. I know you skipped Survivor: The Martian Canal Challenge and 25 and American Idol Worshipper, and all the other shows that make one's IQ plummet faster than Paris Hilton's skirt in a camera store.

Well, not really. I don't know anyone who watched the debate, except for me. I made the sacrifice for you all. I hope everyone remembers my uncommon valor, over the next few months.

Seeing ten people take the stage was interesting. I enjoyed the short question-and-answer sessions, in which each participant was given enough time to answer, but none to bloviate. I thought the moderators did a great job of asking tough, to-the-point questions, with the exception of one uttered by Chris Wallace, in which he asked how it made one candidate feel that no blacks, women, Hispanics, or transgendered sea-monkeys were in the running. I'm sorry, Chris, but that's a stupid inquiry. First of all, who cares? And second, no individual has control over who chooses to run, or not. It's meaningless, unless you're gauging one's level of PC sensibilities.

As for the guys in the camera's eye, I thought Tommy Thompson and Jim Gilmore failed in their efforts at gaining supporters. Thompson was stiff and bland in most of his responses, while Gilmore came across as needlessly combative.

John McCain and Mitt Romney comported themselves competently in their answers, though Romney seemed a bit wishy-washy. Neither made a big impression on me.

Giuliani exposed himself for the liberal that he is--big surprise! A couple of times, he looked like a real idiot in his evasion of direct questions. He redeemed himself somewhat in calling Ron Paul on the carpet, later on, which I'll address in a minute.

In my opinion, the most impressive figures in the debate were those most ignored by the media: Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, and Mike Huckabee. All four acquitted themselves well, with quick wits and clarity in stating their positions. Huckabee had the best humorous line of the debate, in which he accused the government of spending like John Edwards in a beauty shop. Each of these men seemed sincere and serious in their convictions. The low point of Brownback's comments was when he endorsed Bush's "Non-amnesty Amnesty" policy.

Ron Paul played the role of the monkeywrench in the works. His loner views separated him from the rest of the flock, which aided his high numbers in the post-debate Fox News poll; he came in first, then dropped to second, where he stayed as of the last time I checked the count. I liked his willingness to shake people out of their complacency and stir up the punchbowl. Alas, the man's a lousy public speaker. He offered an "um" or an "ah" every other word. He did not state his case intelligently or clearly. Worse, he suggested that Al-Qaida hit us on 9/11 as a result of our stationing troops on Muslim soil. I believe this signaled the death-knell for his campaign, whether anyone realizes this or not.

The idea that America created our adversary is absurd. Yes, we have the ability of exacerbating extant problems, but the reality is as Tancredo put it in the debate: to paraphrase, these people follow a religion that dictates our deaths; it demands our destruction. Muslims hate us for no other reason than that we are not Muslims; it's that simple. If we give them no reason to hate us, they'll make one up. This conclusion is inescapable upon learning the true history of Islam. Nor is 9/11 our first tangle with these folks. Remember the Barbary Pirates and the conflict surrounding them? Guess what? They weren't Transcendental Meditationists. They were Muslims, and their religious beliefs played a direct role in their behavior, which included the enslavement of people of all creeds and colors. America is not faultless; yet Al-Qaida and other Islamic terrorist groups are not the Frankensteinian spawn of the U.S., regardless what they claim in their public lies.

So in short, Paul not only projected an unpopular sentiment, but an incorrect one. For that, he's done. However, I do admire his willingness to think for himself and make the whole affair more interesting. Variety is the spice of life, after all.

I like a forum where disparate views are aired from more than two or three people; so this was an interesting debate, over all, and worth seeing.

1 comment:

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